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The Second Annual Lithuanian Film Festival (Chicago)
FESTIVAL OF LITHUANIAN CINEMA: TRADITIONS AND TRANSITIONS
The Facets Cinémathèque and the Lithuanian Consulate General in Chicago, in cooperation with Lithuanian Institute and Lithuanian American TV, are very pleased to announce this distinguished exhibition of Lithuanian cinema. This is the second time that a retrospective has been curated to showcase the outstanding features and documentary films from the 60's, when Lithuanian cinema (which began under Soviet occupation) switched from its propaganda origins, to the more personal works of traditional and independent filmmakers of contemporary Lithuania.
Lithuanian Cinema: Traditions and Transitions, The 2nd Annual Lithuanian Film Festival in the city of Chicago (with the largest Lithuanian community outside of Lithuania) was made possible by the Consulate General of Lithuania in Chicago, the Lithuanian Institute (in Vilnius), and Lithuanian American TV (Chicago, WFBT CH 48). The previous festival was exceptionally successful rousing the interest in Lithuanian cinema. The festival, which is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, offers the only opportunity in the U.S. to see the wholly unique and original films of Lithuanian filmmakers. All films are in Lithuanian with English subtitles.
A musical about the eternal struggle between good and evil that leads to the realization that life is beautiful. Added with the Lithuanian humor and traditions.
Directed by Arūnas Zhebriūnas, 1974, 35mm, 77 mins.
Fri., May 20 at 7 pm
A woman in her forties, having undergone the catastrophe of her private life, tries to find her own place in life, resisting the hard pressure of unfavorable circumstances. The film concentrates on the period of her life that can be called "The Living on the Bound." It is a kind of mirror reflecting the post-soviet society life. Outward freedom does not necessarily bring inner freedom.
Directed by Kristijonas Vildzhiūnas, 2002, 35mm, 80 mins.
Fri., May 20 at 9 pm
Sun., May 22 at 7 pm
A WOMAN AHD HER FOUR MEN
(MOTERIS IR KETURI JOS VYRAI)
The film is based on the short story "Love Affair in the Dunes." It takes place at the end of the 19th century in a small fishermen's village. An old fisherman and his sons live in a cabin at the foot of a dune. One night, the two brothers and their father find the dead body of their third brother. His ship went down and his corpse was washed ashore by the sea. This discovery leads to unforeseen generational consequences.
Directed by Algimantas Puipa, 1983, 35mm, 92 mins.
Sat., May 21 at 5 pm
Tues., May 24 at 7 pm
Jonas Vaitkus' patriotic war film paints a poignant portrait of Lithuania's ten-year struggle against Soviet occupation and casts new light on Lithuanian National hero Juozas Luksa (Daumantas), the legendary freedom fighter who sought to bring Lithuania's plight to the attention of the West. Set in 1950, Utterly Alone powerfully depicts the bloody and brutal treatment meted out by Soviet Russia as it systematically hunts down and kills resistance fighters. It pays tribute to the courage and fortitude of Daumantas and his fellow fighters as they battle valiantly against the might of Stalin's empire.
Directed by Jonas Vaitkus, 2004, 35mm, 90 mins.
Sat., May 21 at 7 pm
Thurs., May 26 at 9 pm
SHORT FILMS OF THE YOUNG GENERATION
(Total time 120 mins.)
A sarcastic comedy about the unpredictable nature of human fate. One group consists of two elderly women who love to tango as well as parachute jump. The other group consists of a young photographer and his sexy girlfriend, who are so attracted to each other, that they forget about the rest of the world. The two groups eventually meet each other with surprising results.
Directed by Giedrė Beinoriūtė, 2004, 35mm, 22 mins.
WHITE ON BLUE
(BALTOS DĖMĖS MELYNAME)
In a little seaside resort town, merrymakers witness a bitter argument of a dysfunctional family. Their sensitive teenage daughter accidentally enters a strange world of incomprehensible happiness on an island where the town ornithologist traps birds as well as "other species." She also observes erotic games on the beach.
Directed by Ramūnas Greičius, 2004, 35mm, 20 mins.
SUNDAY AS IT IS
(SEKMADIENIS TOKS, KOKS YRA)
A young criminal who is in jail meets his mother for the first time in his life. He is offered a deal, if he turns in his friends, he can go free and leave the country with her. Will he betray his friends to rejoin his family?
Directed by Ignas Jonynas, 2003, 33 mins.
EASILY AND SWEETLY
(LENGBAI IR SALDZHIAI)
This is a story about ordinary street guys, who just want to be cool. Will the night streets grant them this chance, though?
Directed by Audrius Stonys, 2002, 35mm, 30 mins.
The first feature film of well-known documentary filmmaker Audrius Stonys tells the story about a father and his son who are wandering musicians. They play in every car of a train, collecting money for their music; though it looks very much like begging. In the last car, an aggressive gang confronts them, and they must make their choice.
Directed by Audrius Stonys, 2002, 35mm, 30 mins.
Sat., May 21 at 9 pm
A young girl, Inga, considers herself very beautiful, and her friends always choose her as a queen of their games. When a new boy moves to the neighborhood, he tells her that she is ugly because of her freckles. Eventually, Inga realizes that there are more important things in life than appearance. Directed by Arūnas Zhebriūnas, 1969, 35mm, 69 mins.
Sun., May 22 at 3 pm
Mon., May 23 at 6:30 pm
Loneliness and a search for the past brings two young people together. After having found his friend, one of them understands that it is not possible to turn back the clock, as the present arouses bitterness and disappointment. Three Days is the first feature film by Bartas.
Directed by Sharūnas Bartas, 1991, 35mm, 76 mins.
Sun., May 22 at 5 pm
Wed., May 25 at 9:15 pm
(Total time: 115 mins.)
OLD MAN AND THE EARTH
(SENIS IR ZHEMĖ)
This is a poetic story about an old farmer who lives his life according to nature. An old country couple tell their life story and speak about the sacrifices they made for their children's education.
Directed by Robertas Verba, 1965, 35mm, 20 mins.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE FOGGY MEADOWS
(KELIONĖ ŪKŲ LANKOMIS)
A narrow gauge track will soon be dismantled, although people living in the countryside still need it. The track patrol needs it as well, although the gauge track is getting shorter.
Directed by Henrikas Shablevičius, 1973, 35mm, 10 mins.
This is a poetic essay about the personal and intellectual world of the Lithuanian Jewish writer Jokubas Josade, who said that his homeland was inside him. It was like a locked box that no one could open and look inside.
Directed by Diana and Kornelijus Matuzevičius, 1993, 35mm, 20 mins.
This is a film about an old man living in a region that floods every spring. He believes that the natural disaster is a part of his life.
Directed by Valdas Navasaitis, 1997, 35mm, 20 mins.
"I am a local resident," says Hilda. No one is allowed to say that she does not come from here, even though she speaks with an accent and was born elsewhere. She was deported to Siberia with four children, but soon returned. She has chosen a place to live. This is where she lives, so she must be a local.
Directed by Diana and Kornelijus Matuzevičiai, 2001, 35 mm, 25 mins.
I FOUND... OR FLYINGS
(AS RADAU... ARBA PALAKIOJIMAI)
The film is about Jonas Mekas, a poet and avant-garde filmmaker on his 75th birthday, which was celebrated on Christmas morning in his native Lithuanian village.
Directed by Algimantas Maceina, 2001, DVD, 20 mins.
Mon., May 23 at 7:45 pm
THE CHRONICLE OF ONE DAY
(VIENOS DIENOS KRONIKA)
This film's action takes place in one day. It follows a Lithuanian academic traveling to Leningrad for the funeral of an old friend.
Directed by Vytautas Zhalakevičius, 1963, 35mm, 90 mins.
Tues., May 24 at 9 pm
AN EVENING ABOUT JONAS MEKAS
FILMMAKER VYTAUTAS V. LANDSBERGIS IN PERSON!
ANTHOLOGY OF JONAS MEKAS
(JONO MEKO ANTOLOGIJA)
A pioneer of the New American cinema, Jonas Mekas (underground director, poet, and intellectual, who helped to define the public image of avant-garde filmmaking in America), talks about his life, New American Cinema, in candid confessions to the "camera." Mekas is the founder of Anthology Film Archives, the Filmmakers' Cooperative, and Film Culture magazine.
Directed by Vytauras V. Landsbergis, DVD, 65 mins.
NEW YORK IS MY DOG
A joyful stroll with Jonas Mekas through his favorite cafes of Manhattan, along with convivial conversations and fluxus games in his home on Broadway and work place Anthology Film Archives.
Directed by Vytautas V. Landsbergis, 2004, Film centre of Jonas Mekas, Betacam SP (will be presented on DVD), 30 min. In Lithuanian with English subtitles.
This film is a cinematographic reconstruction of the life and work of the famous self-taught Lithuanian sculptor Vilius Orvidas (1952-1992). Using stones and wood, Orvidas, who was also a farmer and sometime a monk, stated that the religious nature of some of his carvings "irritated the Soviet authorities' sensibilities." The film is a provocative look at the central question of the nature of creativity. Directed by Vytautas V. Landsbergis, 2001, DVD, 68 mins.